Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Develop Colorful Writing Techniques

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Discover The 5 Sense Approach to Colorful Writing,

Try the 5 Sense approach, and hone your creative writing skills. This approach does not provide a panacea to all your writing problems, however, if practiced, this technique will make your writing practically jump off the page. It only takes about fifteen minutes a day to develop this technique. I promise, if you continue to read this blog, your writing skills will improve, dramatically.

Here goes.

We are going to exploit the five senses to arrive at very colorful writing. Use this technique with prose, poetry, non-fiction and writing in general. I write suspense, a necessary ingredient in my genre which is the Thriller.

Get your pen and paper or put your fingers on the keyboard (a-s-d-f, j-k-l-;) and close your eyes. Forget about the entire story you're writing( for a moment) and focus on a single scene in your book. Begin this exercise by focusing on the sense of sight. S-I-G-H-T.

Close your eyes for about a minute and bring to mind all that you see. Next, open your eyes and write single words and phrases (not becessarily sentences) based on what you saw, however, sentences and fragments are okay. It's not about rules of grammar, it's about creativity.

For example, I'm doing it as I speak.

Step 1.
I'm about to close my eyes and concentrate on a scene in my latest novel. I'm going to think of the antagonist, Smitty. I'm focusing on the sense of sight. Here I go.

I've opened my eyes and I'm writing:

Smitty. Ponytail. Eyes that shifted. Clean face. Tall. Salt and pepper hair. Dark. Beneath a tree. Wind blowing. Shadows. Lights inside. Looking through window. They don't see him. He saw her. Flashes of light....a television screen?

Step 2.

I'm closing my eyes and foucsing on the sense of sound. S-O-U-N-D. This is what I hear:

Wind blowing. A dog barked in the distance. A machine hummed. Air conditioner? Plates rattled. A door slammed. A car door shut. Voices. Voices disappeared. Slence.

Step 3.

The sense of "Touch."
Brittle tree bark. An insect crawling on my skin. A brushing leaf. bit my tongue.

Step 4.

The sense of "Smell."
Supper. Something roasted. greenery. Something moist, perhaps mildew. Smoke. Pollen?

Step 5.

The sense of "Taste."
Chocolate. Mint. blood. shampoo. dust.

Okay. Notice, I did not attempt to make sense of my writing. I simply wrote what was there. Now, we can go back and allow the writing to flow.

He stood beneath a thick sycamore tree, safely camoflagued by thick branches looming overhead. An insect crawled over his gloved hand an onto his wrist. Probably an ant. Shadows danced as a strong wind rustled leaves above his head. He stepped back, away from the street lamp and into the edge of the treeline.

He saw her, but she couln't see him.

Her lights were on across the street. The kitchen window was open and he smelled supper. It would be her last meal. It was a roast, fresh from the oven. He could almost taste it, but he didn't; instead, he tasted blood. His blood.

"Dammit!" he whispered. He had bit his own tongue.

Smitty removed a chocolate from the top pocket of his hunter's vest. Smitty was a hunter. Smitty hunted people.

He smacked the chocolate twice, and then swallowed. He rubbed his salt and pepper ponytail and tucked it into the first layer of clothing, a t-shirt. He then fastened the hunter's vest about his neck, creating a snug fit. Happy that his ponytail was secure and not likely to lose a strand of hair for police forensics to discover, he half smiled. Half smiled, but not yet confident that he would get away. Perfection requires rehearsal and he always rehearsed....three or four times before the action took place. He rehearsed. That's what made him good at it.

A car pulled up. The neighbors were on time. All four car doors opened. The couple and both children departed. Their voices emerged from the car but soon faded as they approached the front door. A small dog barked from inside the house.

He leaned against the trunk of the thick, moist Sycamore tree and rehearsed his plan of attack. He noticed a flash of light. Probably, a tv screen. He checked his watch. In fifteen minutes, she would turn off the tv and go to bed. He had rehearsed. A feeling of confidence swept over him, a power engulfed him. It was a complete confirmation of his superiority. Now, he smiled, completely. Twenty minutes later she would fall asleep, and then...Smitty would make his move.

Smitty was certain of one thing: He would get away.

*


Exploit the readers mind by alluding to what is sensed. Notice, Smitty does sense that everything is usual. Nothing is out of place. Smitty is, therefore, ready to act.

In the first and third paragraphs, I broke the rules of composition by using sentence fragments. For example, "probably an ant." Later, I used "his blood....." It's okay to break the rules, infrequently, for effect.

Now, I've demonstrated how to use your basic senses to pull he reader into the story. It doesn't matter whether you're writing romance, mystery, poetry or suspense. Employ this technique and watch your writing jump off the page.

I suggest you thumb through your manuscript and locate elongated narratives that does not move forward. There, apply this technique.

Try it. If it works for you, I would appreciate a comment on this blogsite. If I am helping you, I will share more information, but you have to let me know.

Sell more books. Use the sense God gave you.

2 comments:

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Randy Austin said...

Hi Barry,

The concept for The Doctor's Vice is a good one, but it will have to maintain a careful balance between its dark and sinister appeal and triggering the reader's disgust. I applaud you for taking on a subject of such depth and importance, and I am confident that you can pull it off.

On my front, my manuscript, WIZARD'S REFRAIN, has been selected as a finalist in the Royal Palms Literary Awards contest. I also won a short story contest with SHARK, and my story will be published, along with the other winners, in a book titled Slices of Life 2.

I look forward to reading more excerpts from The Doctor's Vice.